Independent News and Views September 18, 2000
Features The Trouble With Al - By David Moberg L.A. Confidential - By Bob Burnett From Seattle to South Central - By Juan Gonzalez A Field Day for the Heat - By Jeffrey St. Clair Throwing Away the Key - By Dave Lindorff Blinded with Science - By Karen Charman
News Prague Fall - By Nick Rosen The Highest Price - By Anthony Arnove - By Dave Lindorff Appall-o-Meter - By David Futrelle
Views Editorial - By Salim Muwakkil Dialogue: Candidate Nader - By Doug Ireland and Joel Bleifuss A Terry LaBan Cartoon - By Terry LaBan
Culture Dancing in the Suites - By J.W. Mason Things Fall Apart - By Hillary Frey Homage to Gorazde - By Daniel F. Raeburn - By Dave Lindorff


  The strike by some 87,000 Verizon workers - members of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers - represents one of those historic moments in modern labor history. In this case, it's a struggle between workers in a so-called "old-economy industry" - the regional telephone business - and a company that is trying through mergers and acquisitions to morph into a "new economy" multimedia conglomerate.

   Created earlier this year by the $72 billion merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE - two regional and largely unionized telephone companies - Verizon has quickly moved to expand globally with the creation of Verizon Wireless, a joint venture with Britain's Vodaphone AirTouch, and the acquisition of Northpoint Communications, a major Internet provider. Verizon is currently the largest phone and wireless company in North America. The two striking unions represent the bulk of Verizon's core workers in 13 Eastern states. But there are many more Verizon employees, particularly in the wireless and Internet businesses, who are nonunion. And Verizon is anxious to keep it that way.

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